This is a theme that has been a big part of the Broncos message since the team was able to squeak out a win in New Orleans. It has been voiced by players like Jared Crick, all the way up to John Elway. And just like the playoffs, the rest of the road is far from simple.
As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the Mile High Report Radio Podcast, the playoffs start now. Of the Broncos next six games, only one feels like a sure win. Jacksonville should be a mark in the win column, so let’s take a look at the other games. Next up for Denver is Kansas City. Division rivalry games are tough to call. The Chiefs are hungry, have a very good defense, and will be getting Justin Houston back. No prediction here, just an acknowledgment that winning this game will be very difficult.
After the Chiefs and Jaguars, the Broncos will travel to Tennessee. Another game that might be tough. On the road against a young quarterback who seems to have his offense humming. That could be a tough task for the Broncos.
The Broncos return home for a game against the New England Patriots. You can bet the Patriots will be looking to make a statement in that game. It could also be huge for their chances at the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. After faltering late last season, and surrendering the top seed in the playoffs to Denver, the Patriots are likely to take that much more seriously.
The Broncos finish their season traveling to Kansas City on Christmas, and home to Oakland on New Years Day. Division rivalries are always huge, but the last two games of the season could be all about seeding in the playoffs. Kansas City in December is always a difficult place to win a game. Oakland will potentially be on the cusp of flipping the AFC West upside down.
There is no doubt about it. For the Denver Broncos, the playoffs start after the bye.